Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Short Liturgy for Families and Faith Communities after the Non-Trial Verdict in Ferguson, MO.

Adapted from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

A pastoral explanation of lament may be made, and each one present may be invited to light a candle and place it near the altar as a symbol-action of intention, to be present with God to suffering - our own and that of our neighbors. 


Let us pray.

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and
confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Psalms 142 and 143, followed by a time of silence in which personal expressions of lament, grief, and pain may me made, either in silence or in the hearing of all.



142 Voce mea ad Dominum
  1. 1  I cry to the Lord with my voice; *
    to the Lord I make loud supplication.
  2. 2  I pour out my complaint before him *
    and tell him all my trouble.
  3. 3  When my spirit languishes within me, you know my path; * 
  4. in the way wherein I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
  5. 4  I look to my right hand and find no one who knows me; * 
  6. I have no place to flee to, and no one cares for me.
  7. 5  I cry out to you, O Lord; * 
  8. I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
  9. 6  Listen to my cry for help, for I have been brought very low; * 
  10. save me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.
  11. 7  Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your Name; 
  12. when you have dealt bountifully with me, the righteous will gather around me. 
143 Domine, exaudi
  1. 1  Lord, hear my prayer, and in your faithfulness heed my supplications; *
    answer me in your righteousness.
  2. 2  Enter not into judgment with your servant, *
    for in your sight shall no one living be justified.
    3  For my enemy has sought my life; he has crushed me to the ground; *
    he has made me live in dark places like those who are long dead.
    4  My spirit faints within me; *
    my heart within me is desolate.
    5  I remember the time past;
    I muse upon all your deeds; *
    I consider the works of your hands.
    6  I spread out my hands to you; *
    my soul gasps to you like a thirsty land.
    7  O Lord, make haste to answer me; my spirit fails me; * 
  3. do not hide your face from me or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
    8  Let me hear of your loving-kindness in the morning, for I put my trust in you; *
    show me the road that I must walk, for I lift up my soul to you.
    9  Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord, * 
  4. for I flee to you for refuge.
    10  Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God; * 
  5. let your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
    11  Revive me, O Lord, for your Name’s sake; *
    for your righteousness’ sake, bring me out of trouble.
    12  Of your goodness, destroy my enemies and bring all my foes to naught, *
    for truly I am your servant. 
An extended time of silence is observed.

Psalm 51 is read together. 
51 Miserere mei, Deus
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving-kindness; *
  in your great compassion blot out my offenses.
Wash me through and through from my wickedness * 
  and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, * 
  and my sin is ever before me.
Against you only have I sinned *
  and done what is evil in your sight.

And so you are justified when you speak * 
  and upright in your judgment.
Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth, * 
  a sinner from my mother’s womb.
For behold, you look for truth deep within me, * 
  and will make me understand wisdom secretly.
Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; *   
  wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.
Make me hear of joy and gladness, *
  that the body you have broken may rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins * 
  and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, * 
  and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence * 
  and take not your holy Spirit from me.
Give me the joy of your saving help again * 
  and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
I shall teach your ways to the wicked, * 
  and sinners shall return to you.
Deliver me from death, O God, *
  and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness, O God of my salvation.
Open my lips, O Lord, *
  and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Had you desired it, I would have offered sacrifice, * 
  but you take no delight in burnt-offerings.
The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; *
  a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 
The Officiant and People together, all kneeling
Most holy and merciful Father:
We confess to you and to one another,
and to the whole communion of saints
in heaven and on earth,
that we have sinned by our own fault
in thought, word, and deed;
by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.


The Officiant continues

We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.
Have mercy on us, Lord.


We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit.
Have mercy on us, Lord.


We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,
We confess to you, Lord.


Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people,
We confess to you, Lord.


Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,
We confess to you, Lord.


Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and our dishonesty in daily life and work,
We confess to you, Lord.


Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to commend the faith that is in us,
We confess to you, Lord.


Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done: for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty,
Accept our repentance, Lord.


For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.


For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.


Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;
Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.


Accomplish in us the work of your salvation,
That we may show forth your glory in the world.


By the cross and passion of your Son our Lord,
Bring us with all your saints to the joy of his resurrection.


The Officiant then says

Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desires not the death of sinners, but rather that they may turn from their wickedness and live, has given power and commandment to his ministers to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the absolution and remission of their sins. He pardons and absolves all those who truly repent, and with sincere hearts believe his holy Gospel. Therefore we beseech him to grant us true repentance and his Holy Spirit, that those things may please him which we do on this day, and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure and holy, so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The following may be sung.



The Officiant then says

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

People And also with you.

Signs of peace are exchanged.


Let us go in peace, to Love and serve the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.

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